Why are so many supports falling off?

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Volandum

Senior Member

02-06-2013

Supports tend to have range, which makes them much safer kite enablers, they can do it without getting worn down.

Healing is nice but not a huge deal generally.

The range also allows them to effectively clear waves from a safe distance, I could push an amumu off a point but I couldn't do that to a Soraka.


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Ikruti

Senior Member

02-06-2013

Makes some sense. Doesn't explain Taric though. Also can't say I've seen many supports be good wave clearers. Janna and Soraka seem to be exceptions rather than rules. Even then, Soraka's starfall range really isn't that huge, if she goes to clear the wave seems like she'd be in poke range.

Oh, Karma I guess can clear a wave pretty well too. But wouldn't she have the same issue as Soraka. I know her shield explodes but doesn't she need a fan cone to finish it off?

But ok, as a general the reason is supports are ranged. As I said, makes some sense. Of course, ranged really isn't as strong a protection here as it is on SR.


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TheLittlestLulu

Senior Member

02-06-2013

For anyone confused about the difference between a support and a tank, a tank is a character that is designed with innate tankiness or some sort of tank steroid and the ability to be disruptive enough to make ignoring them and going after squishier character more difficult. They also tend to be good initiators.

Supports are characters designed to have utility in which to aid other champions with. Things like stat buffs, shields/heals, and speed boosts. You have some champions like Taric who is a combination of a tank and a support. He's not as good at tanking as a pure tank and not as good at supporting as a pure support but he can do both at the same time. Also supports tend to have some form of cc.


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Volandum

Senior Member

02-06-2013

Lulu's wave clear is very strong, as is Galio's.

With range comes massive squishiness, Sona and Nunu differ in base health by 2 giant's belts or something stupid.

You can autoattack minions to last hit. This is important. Taric's more of a tank, and his heals are actually huge and on a pretty low cooldown during an actual fight.


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SylianEUW

Senior Member

02-07-2013

Supports got hurt by the Season 3 changes. If you now go 9/21/0 masteries, you get 8.1% CDR less at level 18 than you did before. If you go 9/0/21, you're much squishier than before. Furthermore, core support items got nerfed. Aegis of the Legion got nerfed, but it's still quite good. Frozen Heart got nerfed quite a lot, and it was not very good for quite a while, mostly due to armor pen being broken. Due to recent armor pen nerfs and Frozen Heart buffs, Frozen Heart might be useful again. Maybe. Supports gained little from Season 3, but the did gain one boon: Locket of the Iron Solari getting buffed. Still, nerfs to Shurelia's, Frozen Heart, Aegis of the Legion and defensive masteries hurt quite a lot.

Another reason for the lack of supports is the decline of ADC. Supports work best in an environment where they can protect an ADC. In this meta, AD assassins are popular, which makes AD carries weaker, thus making supports less important.

What should be done to make supports stronger again? First, I would like to say that the situation is not as bad as it was in the beginning of Season 3. Nevertheless, the situation isn't that great for support. AP carries got two items to make them stronger, and AD bruiser got Black Cleaver. Perhaps it's time to give supports an item that helps them? Preferably, an item that helps supports without making other champions too strong. This item could, for example, provide a % buff to shields and heals when used on other champions. This would prevent bruisers and AP casters from getting the item, while being strong for most support. The item should provide cooldown reduction as well, since this is something supports have trouble getting in Season 3, unless they run CDR boots.


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konfetarius

Senior Member

02-07-2013

ADCs have nothing to do with it. The SR meta tag of "support" (which is defined entirely by gold flow and laning theory) is non-existent in Dominion. Lulu or Karma are just as terrifying when combo'd with a good bruiser (if not more so), and "support" for ADC almost always comes down to "peel the scary guy off the ADC" than anything else which tanks do equally well.

If anything, the only thing that really seems to have happened is more people figuring out that Amumu/Leona/etc. are stupid good and some of the support only players are still reeling from "why does my 200 armor do literally nothing" Black Cleaver spam meta.

Also, Bulwark is OP. Dunno why any support would be proclaiming "no new toys" when they have that ridiculous item.


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SylianEUW

Senior Member

02-07-2013

ADC has a lot to do with it. Janna, for instance, is not that great if you don't run her with an ADC. Same with Nunu. Lulu works with bruisers, sure, but she also works with ADCs, and in Season 2, ADCs were incredibly strong on Dominion. In Season 3, it's different. It takes a lot more work to make ADCs work, and they're much more situational.

It's not always clear where the line between support and tank goes. If you look at SR, champions such as Alistar and Leona are often regarded as supports. Even then, tanks are worse off in Season 3, with a few exceptions, such as those mentioned and Malphite.

Bulwark is strong, yes, but Aegis of the Legion was nerfed in return. I might actually prefer S2 Aegis to S3 Bulwark, since I'd save some gold then which I could use on other items. Overall, S2 itemization was much better for supports than S3 itemization is. Lacking good CDR options is a major problem for cc tanks and supports. Going CDR boots helps, but then you give up Merc's, which sucks.


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konfetarius

Senior Member

02-07-2013

Janna is about the only ADC centric support, is useless for anything but peeling with ult when built tanky. I'll give you that she is weaker when nobody plays ADCs.

Everybody else...? No, not really. Nunu - blood boil is fantastic on any AD, ice ball is basically a spammable mini-exhaust. Zilean works under a similiar principle but with higher MS focus. Karma is insanely good on Bruisers. Sona is a weaker Janna as far as ADC supporting is concerned. Lulu is god tier with bruisers.

Morganna, Galio, Nami, and Soraka always sucked top lane (and are, quite frankly, bad ADC defense because cooldowns). You can't "fall off" if you were never viable in the first place. Every "strong" support you can think of has great synergy with bruisers, fantastic CC, and/or is a godlike tank. There is an ADC:support relationship, but it flows in the opposite direction of what you described - ADCs suck in dominion without strong support, strong supports still rule in dominion without ADCs.


Merc treads are overrated on supports. Overpriced MR, and if you are taking the CC, you are doing your job right.


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lbgsloan

Senior Member

02-07-2013

Janna is still pretty strong with any bursty AD, if not stronger. Toss that E on Panth or Wukong before they go in for their combo and tell me 50 more AD didn't help explode someone. And yes, full tank Janna is not really a good idea unless you're pooting.

I had been running CDR runes and 9/0/21 for 15% CDR (add IG and random kindlegem item for 40%), but with the CDR changes coming up it may make more sense to go back to defence. I'm thinking 10/19/1 (4% CDR while still taking summoners wrath), CDR boots, IG (soon to be 10%), and a kindlegem item would work out better. It also frees up your glyphs for mres or even AP again. 21 utility is just too squish, and there's just so many bad masteries on the way to the CDR and movespeed.


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SylianEUW

Senior Member

02-08-2013

Most of the supports you mentioned are barely ever played in tournament settings (unless NA differs from EUW there, I have not been keeping up with the NA meta) and not all that strong on Dominion. Janna, Lulu, Sona and Nunu are the supports that I've traditionally seen played on Dominion, and I think that they all are weaker in Season 3.

I would like to comment on Runic Bulwark: It is a good item, sure, but you cannot afford to rush it, since it gives 0% CDR. Supports really need CDR to work well. Even a token amount, such as 5% CDR, would help making Runic Bulwark rush more enticing.

If Zeke's Herald will be buffed to give 20% CDR, then that might be a very nice option for supports.